Kawhi Leonard would possibly not go back this season. Here’s how his damage become so critical


Gregg Popovich stated he has “never� noticed an damage like Leonard’s, and now, he’s out indefinitely.

Ultimate week San Antonio Spurs head train Gregg Popovich informed newshounds he’d be “surprised� if Kawhi Leonard returns to motion this season after fighting a quadriceps damage that has lingered throughout the year, however this week it’s a unique tale.

Leonard may well be again via March, in line with a document from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Spurs’ All-Celebrity ahead again to San Antonio from New York the place he won session on his session damage, the record stated.

Leonard isn’t anticipated to instantly get started enticing in complete five-on-five practices together with his teammates, however the purpose is to improve towards that degree of engagement within the close to long run, league resources stated.

(Notice: This publish used to be at the beginning revealed in November and used to be up to date with Leonard’s standing.)

Popovich is an NBA lifer, however even he hasn’t ever noticed an damage like Leonard’s strained quad tendon. The superstar ahead has overlooked all however 9 video games that San Antonio has performed thus far this season, and there’s nonetheless no timetable for his go back.

“Never, by no means,� stated Popovich, requested if this damage used to be very similar to anything else he’s noticed sooner than in a Nov. 23 ESPN tale.

Popovich persisted: “What’s actually atypical is that [Tony Parker] has the similar damage, however even worse. They needed to pass function on his quad tendon and placed it again in combination or no matter what they did to it. So as to have men, that is lovely implausible. I had by no means noticed it prior to the ones men.â€�

Parker rehabbed after the damage in ultimate season’s Western Convention Semifinals and hadn’t performed till Nov. 25, however has on account that again and is averaging eight.five issues and approximately 4 assists in keeping with recreation. He’s been demoted to a bench position at the back of budding younger shield Dejounte Murray, however the Spurs’ largest factor isn’t on the aspect shield: It’s at the wings.

San Antonio has fallen to 35-24 this season, now tied with and in peril of falling at the back of the Minnesota Timberwolves for the fourth seed within the West. The Wolves are handiest video games in advance of the Thunder, who’re best separated through 1.five video games from the 9th seed within the West. Briefly: The Spurs want Leonard again to be anything else with reference to the staff they have been ultimate yr.

However in a contemporary ESPN tale, the All-Famous person ahead doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to go back to the courtroom this season. He has been medically cleared to play for a while, however hasn’t definite himself he’s in a position to head but. Popovich’s training will stay this group afloat, however with out Leonard — who emerged onto the scene because the league’s most suitable -method wing after profitable NBA Finals MVP in 2014 — San Antonio’s destiny this season seems bleak at absolute best.

It positive isn’t a good signal that Leonard’s damage is so odd and has been mentioned in those obscure uncertainties.

Here’s a timeline of what Popovich and the Spurs have stated approximately Leonard’s damage.

Sept. 30

Leonard’s damage used to be first found out on the Spurs’ intrasquad scrimmage in past due September.

“We’re nonetheless rehabbing his thigh,� Popovich stated, “He’ll most probably leave out the start of preseason or a great deal of preseason, and we’re now not going to place a timetable (on a go back). However he’s running at it, and we’ll get him again once we will be able to.�

Oct. thirteen

weeks later, the Spurs showed Leonard might omit the season opener and there used to be nonetheless no timetable on his go back.

“I don’t gauge it,� Popovich stated. “He’s nonetheless rehabbing and while he’s in a position, he’ll be in a position. I check out to not qualify it.�

Oct. 20

Leonard used to be filmed strolling up the steps of a aircraft, and he used to be suffering. The context used to be Leonard had simply come again from a rehab exercise, however nonetheless. That’s tricky to observe.

Oct. 21

Popovich presented a shockingly temporary replace the next day to come.

“He is progressing,” Popovich informed newshounds. “I’m going to simply depart it at that.”

Nov. 7

Popovich looked as if it would trace Leonard’s sluggish growth used to be complicated to him, too.

However Popovich additionally stated Leonard used to be “going in the best path.�

Nov. 15

The Spurs after all gave what gave the impression to be just right information approximately Leonard’s damage ultimate week, pronouncing he can be again “sooner than later.� In fact, Popovich instantly walked again somewhat on that quote.

From the San Antonio Categorical-Information:

Requested if there’s “light on the finish of the tunnelâ€� for the Spurs’ linchpin participant, Popovich stated, “Oh, positive. He’s gonna be again faster relatively than later.â€�

The instruct then paused ahead of including, “Whatever nebulous (stuff that used to be). Once I stated it, I assumed, ‘What the hell does that imply?’ “

Nov. 22

Now Leonard continues to be “sooner than later,� however we now have principally no actual replace. We will be able to all wish to peer him again at the courtroom once imaginable.

Dec. 12

Leonard returns, and he appears just right. For 9 video games, The Claw averages 25 issues, 7.2 rebounds, three.6 assists, three.2 steals and slightly below steals a recreation. Leonard does now not play in the second one of Spurs’ again-to-backs. He best performs video games which are spaced out by way of or extra days.

Jan. 2

Leonard is going off for a season-top 25 issues, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals in a win over the Knicks.

Jan. 17

The Spurs record Leonard as out indefinitely as he keeps rehabbing his proper quadriceps tendinopathy. Extra approximately his standing right here.

Feb. 21

Popovich tells newshounds it’s not likely San Antonio’s All-Celebrity ahead make a go back this season:

“I’ll be stunned if he returns this season,â€� Pop stated. “Well, we handiest have X choice of video games left within the season, and he’s nonetheless now not in a position to head. If through a few probability he’s, it’s gonna be lovely past due into the season; and it’s going to be a horny tricky choice — how past due to deliver someone again. So that’s why I’m simply looking to be fair and logical. I’ll be stunned if he will get again this yr.â€�

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